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Notable performances from Sunday’s NFL combine workouts

Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney ranked fifth among all linebackers with a 4.59 40-yard on Sunday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney ranked fifth among all linebackers with a 4.59 40-yard on Sunday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. The Associated Press

Defensive linemen and linebackers underwent testing during the fifth day of the NFL Combine on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Here are five notable performances.

▪ ILB Paul Dawson, Texas Christian: This active and instinctive three-down linebacker opened some eyes with his 40-time, but not in a good way. His best 40 was 4.93 seconds, which ranked 30th among 34 participants. For a player who spent a good amount of time in space, that’s not a great mark. That, plus his reported character concerns, could push him down in the draft.

▪ ILB Ben Heeney, Kansas: Heeney’s team didn’t have much success, but all he did was rack up tackles for the Jayhawks while occasionally flashing impressive quicks to the ball. His 4.59 40-yard dash ranked fifth among all linebackers. That time, plus his tape, should remove the sleeper label from Heeney.

▪ ILB Eric Kendricks, UCLA: Kendricks is one of the most instinctive linebackers in the draft, and his 40-yard dash time of 4.61 only solidified what teams should have seen on tape: A plug-and-play immediate starter in any scheme with plus athleticism.

▪ ILB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State: After running an unofficial 4.78 on his first attempt in the 40-yard dash, McKinney came back to run a 4.66 official on his second run. That was important for him, considering he checked in at 6 feet 4 and 246 pounds.

▪ ILB Shaq Thompson, Washington: Thompson surprised draft analysts with a 4.72 unofficial time on his first run, but came back to run a 4.64 official time. That was solid, and his work in the movement drills helped him stand out; he was extremely fluid while outshining other at his position.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TerezPaylor.

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